“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose ?By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Juliet – Romeo & Juliet
Researchers from Melbourne’s Swinburne and Monash Universities contacted me last year. They are conducting about a survey about choices people make when it comes to names; whether you choose to take a spouse’s surname or how you choose you child’s name, they want to know.
They’ve even started a blog about it.
I’ve written about this topic before on my other Mum’s Word blog, because people always have an opinion on the topic. You can’t escape. If you have a name, you have an opinion.
When I got married, I took on my husband’s name. It’s not that I particularly liked it. I didn’t particularly like my maiden name so I was fairly non-plussed. But in the lead-up to the wedding I had a fight with my dad and that pretty much sealed the deal. I wasn’t keeping my father’s name anymore.
Mr M had also mentioned that he would have been happy to change his name to my maiden name. I don’t think my father-in-law would have appreciated that; his only son giving up the family name and all.
Title Card: The godfather was born Vito Andolini, in the town of Corleone in Sicily. In 1901 his father was murdered for an insult to the local Mafia chieftain.
Don Ciccio: I see you took the name of the town. What was your father’s name?
Vito Corleone: Antonio Andolini.
The Godfather II
Another couple I know relinquished each of their surnames on the day they got married and gave themselves a new one. The start of a brand new dynasty.
A friend of mine is a book-keeper and she worked for 2 different child care centres. At the childcare centre that was in the ‘burbs, the mother was more likely to have taken on her husband’s name. Okay that may be an assumption; the husband may have taken the wife’s name. But I haven’t come across anyone who has done that. Have you? I would love to know.
While the childcare centre that was located closer to the city the mother’s were more likely to have kept their maiden name whilst the child had the father’s surname.
That’s another question to ask. If you keep your maiden name and have children, whose surname does the child get?
Joe? “Just call me Joe”? As if you were one of those stupid 22-year old girls with no last name? “Hi, I’m Kimberly!” “Hi, I’m Janice!” Don’t they know you’re supposed to have a last name? It’s like they’re an entire generation of cocktail waitresses. – Kathleen Kelly – You’ve Got Mail
And baby names. How do you navigate that? My family is Greek so the tradition is the children are given the grandparent’s name. I am named after my paternal grandmother. My sister is named after my maternal grandmother. So if you’ve every wondered why every family has a George or John or Maria or Tina or Ephie. This is why.
My brother named his two children after my parents. I did not name my children after my parents. Marrying an Italian who doesn’t subscribe to that tradition was an easy out.
Some people choose the name of their baby by the meaning of the name. I didn’t do that either. I tried to choose unisex names but that only worked for the first 2 children. So for the next 2 I tried to choose names that would work well together as a pen name if I ever wrote a novel. I don’t think I’m ever going to write a novel; but if I do, I have a name.
So if you’ve got about 10 minutes, do the survey and help out the researchers who are just trying to write in the history books why we choose the names we have.